27 named to EU commission; UK’s spot unfilled due to Brexit
European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen finalized a list on Monday of the people she wants working with her when she takes the helm of the European Union's executive branch in November.
Von der Leyen's proposed appointments will give the European Commission 27 members, including her – 14 men and 13 women. The commission proposes EU laws and ensures they are put into practice throughout the 28-country bloc.
Her team was based on recommendations from member nations. The proposed commissioners must be approved by the European Parliament — generally a formality — then appointed by the European Council.
Under EU rules, the commission should have 28 members, including the president, one representing each EU member country. Von der Leyen is a former German defense minister.
However, no British commissioner was on her list due to “the assumption that Brexit will happen on the 31st of October,” European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said.
“We have been informed by a letter from the United Kingdom that since they will be leaving on the 31st of October, they would not be sending or suggesting a candidate for commissioner with UK nationality,” Andreeva said.
Von der Leyen plans to give details Tuesday on the specific jobs assigned to the 27 commissioners.
The appointees include former Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni and Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands, who was a contender for the commission presidency before von der Leyen became the consensus pick. [AP]